A canoe on the shore of Hidden Lake in May 2023. Ollie Williams/Cabin Radio
Territorial parks in Hay River and around Yellowknife’s Hidden Lake are now the subject of fire bans.
The move shows the NWT government catching up on the Town of Hay River’s ongoing fire ban and also indicates concern about the risk of a human-caused wildfire on the popular Hidden Lake.
From Friday, “paddlers and campers are advised to use only camp stoves for cooking,” the territorial government stated.
In Hay River’s park you can use camp stoves, enclosed barbecues and propane-fuelled devices, but they must be placed within regulation fire pits and should not emit a flame more than 0.5 metres in diameter or 0.5 metres in height.
As of Friday afternoon, the NWT’s wildfire agency stated, “no communities are currently at risk” and there were no highway closures.
However, wildfire ZF015 had moved to within 11 kilometres of Highway 3 between Yellowknife and Behchokǫ̀. The NWT’s Department of Infrastructure warned on Thursday that the highway could be subject to short-notice closures depending on how conditions evolve.
A hot, dry weekend is expected across much of the territory, meaning many communities can expect continued smoke in the air and the possibility of falling ash.